Byron Writers Festival Official Program to be Announced Wed 15

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The Byron Writers Festival has 600 Members, five annual programs, dozens of out-of-season events and workshops. And one 3-day Festival.

This year the Byron Writers Festival unfolds from 5-7 August 2016 with workshops commencing on 1 August.

Early Bird tickets are on sale until 14 June, unless sold out prior. The full Festival Program will be announced on 15 June, along with full price tickets.

Reese Witherspoon (right) with author Cheryl Strayed on location of the film <i>Wild</i>, based on Strayed's memoir.

Reese Witherspoon (right) with author Cheryl Strayed on location of the film Wild, based on Strayed’s memoir.

Byron Bay Writers’ Festival (August 5-7) has already named some interesting guests for this year’s festival: New Yorker writer and surfer William Finnegan; Wild author Cheryl Strayed; African American writers Angela Flournoy (The Turner House) and Jeffery Renard Allen (Song of the Shank); Australian-born author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos Dominic Smith.

Also attending will be children’s authors and illustrators Peter Carnavas, Nick Falk, Anna Fienberg, Tony Flowers; and locals including Charlotte Wood, Magda Szubanski, Damon Young, and the inseparable pairs Janet Hawley and Wendy Whiteley, Annabel Crabb and Leigh Sales. Tickets at byronwritersfestival.com.The Byron Writers Festival had its beginnings in

The Byron Writers Festival had its beginnings in 1997, when a small group of locals led by Chris Hanley wondered whether authors might accept an invitation to spend a winter weekend in Byron Bay. They did, and an audience of two hundred locals enjoyed a gathering of 50 Australian writers. Since then, the Festival has grown from a single venue event to fill five huge marquees and venues around town.

The Festival guest list now numbers more than 130 authors and commentators. Over the years the most significant and respected contemporary Australian writers have participated through lectures, lunches, panels, conversations, launches and readings. The event also attracts top local, national and international literary talent, including luminaries such as Jeanette Winterson, Peter Carey and Tim Winton, and celebrated politicians including Malcolm Fraser and Julia Gillard. The Festival also provides a platform for local writers to engage with audiences, meet with publishers and agents and launch works.

The event also attracts top local, national and international literary talent, including luminaries such as Jeanette Winterson, Peter Carey and Tim Winton, and celebrated politicians including Malcolm Fraser and Julia Gillard. The Festival also provides a platform for local writers to engage with audiences, meet with publishers and agents and launch works.

Byron Writers Festival Members are able to access information about writing, writing groups, publishing, workshops and industry-related events through our auspices. Northerly, our member magazine, keeps members informed of activities, including a calendar of literary events, competitions and industry opportunities.

Three of our key initiatives are the annual Byron Writers Festival, StoryBoard and the residential mentorship program.

StoryBoard

StoryBoard is a travelling creative writing workshop in Northern Rivers, NSW. The program is aimed at fostering the next generation of readers and writers – young people who are excited about literature, literacy and creativity, who seek the tools to create their futures. Bringing leading authors and illustrators into schools, StoryBoard inspires young people to create stories, fosters creativity and literacy, and helps move young people out of disadvantage.

Residential mentorship

Established in 2001, this prestigious program offers four emerging writers a five-day residency under the mentorship of multi-award winning and internationally acclaimed author, Marele Day. Since its inception, the initiative has enhanced the careers of over 50 writers.

On average, one in four participants have gained publication with a major publisher. Published graduates include Sarah Armstrong (shortlisted for Miles Franklin Award), Jessie Cole (shortlisted for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal and long-listed for the Dobbie Literary Award) among other successfully published writers.

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